The new EU Minister, Ann Linde, wants the EU to construct a system to send refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea back to their countries of origin. She believes that it is important that the EU works for a refugee agreements with war-torn Libya.
-You do not have as many options, she says to SVT, the Swedish public TV-station.
The maths, despite the limited choices, is not simple. Libya currently has two governments, two armies, at least 1 200 militia groups and is the IS / DAESH new hunting grounds connected with Boko Haram and elements of the Polisario Front that slides between the groups. To resolve this, the King of Morocco, King Mohammed VI, has been appointed to lead a special UN mission to find a diplomatic solution. Each solution in Libya will require his involvement.
Linde, for her part, has a special history as an ally of the identity politics of the Olof Palme International Center, which wishes to see a free Western Sahara. As late as the beginning of the year she promoted this position at the UN headquarters, according to reliable sources who attended these meetings but then, as Secretary of State for Anders Ygeman. It was even after her superior, Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, made it known that the government does not intend to recognise a free Western Sahara under the Polisario.
For the situation in Libya to stabilise, it will require diplomacy of the higher school, a diplomacy that only France, Spain, and Britain are capable of in the current situation. Although we are now, after a lot of ifs and buts, managing to establish bilateral talks at the level under the Foreign Ministers, with Morocco, much remains before we can reach the level of France, Spain, and the UK.
Denmark has almost as good a relation and has expressed their gratitude to Morocco for the holding the guard on the southern flank of the EU. The country that perhaps most need the same kind of agreement with the EU that Turkey has is actually Morocco. We can think about what would happen if they let down their guard. The Gibraltar straits takes only 30 minutes by boat to cross. In Morocco 40 percent of the population live below the poverty line.
If Sweden is to play a role in this guarantees will be required from Löfven’s government that the Western Sahara issue will be taken off the agenda forever. That would in turn challenge the major elements of the identity politics support of many ofStefan Löfvens own colleagues.
Linde’s statement is also interesting from a Kremlinologic perspective. It cannot be ruled out that she is now positioning herself for a loss in the vote regarding which countries should be represented in the UN Security Council. If the voting results in a humiliating loss for Sweden the whole of Margot Wallström’s foreign policy project, with its feminist foreign policy which has gone out of the way to offend everyone and everything through journalists, will fall. With that there will not be much of a job left for Wallström, which then opens the door to a fresh start with prospective candidates.
The Polisario Front President Mohamed Abdelaziz recently passed away from a brain tumor, which also opens an opportunity for the Swedish Social Democrats, with honor intact somewhat, to back out of the relationship in which parts of the Polisario increasingly slipped into being a branch of AQIM, Al Queda in Mahgrib. France is not alone to question representatives of the Swedish government behind closed doors what relationships Sweden has with various organisations. Polisario is one, but there are others as well….
Linde is, in either case, an opportunistic candidate for higher office than current, as is well known. And the situation in Libya would be a foreign minister’s area, not an EU minister’s within Stefan Löfven’s new organisation and responsibilities.
The positions change. Before the government Löfven II is even two weeks old.